On what might have been the last sunny day of 2009 Ty and I hopped on our bikes for a cruise around the see wall to see what was happening at the Olympic Athletes Village. On the way over we stopped to examine the small forest of inukshuks that have been erected on the sea wall across from Science World.

The sun is so low in the sky this time of year at the 49th parallel that most of the area on the south side of False Creek remains in shadow even at the height of noon. The Athletes Village looks to be almost completed now, ready for the hordes to come in February.

Even though it was cold and crisp, the Creek looked beautiful in the sun.

After a visit to Granville Island, and a ride across the Creek on the cyquabus, we stopped to admire a large heron perched on an apartment balcony, sunning itself.

A few days later, Ty, Lorraine, John and I ventured up into the mountains for a snowshoeing trip to the Dog Mountain summit on Mount Seymour.

I was pleased to note, as we geared up to enter the trails, that the avalanche risk was “low”.

We tromped through the trees for an hour or so, passing frozen lakes and icicle strewn streams, on our way to the summit.

From the summit we had a beautiful view out over Vancouver to the south and Georgia Strait and Vancouver Island to the west. With a break in the cloud cover, the sun shone golden on the waters down towards the San Juan Islands in Washington State.

Two huge ravens, obviously with no fear of humans, joined us for lunch.

It was an excellent hike, not too strenuous, but enough to work off the shortbread, chocolates and scotch consumed over the holidays.

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